Thought of the Day: Leftist Intolerance

Thought of the Day: Leftist Intolerance

Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, recently responded to a question as to whether he supports “traditional” marriage. His answer, “We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit.” Now I understand that Leviticus, in the Old Testament, spends a lot of time on the evils of incest, but I have no idea if elsewhere the Bible defines marriage. Nevertheless, Mr. Cathy’s comments sent supporters of gay marriage into a frenzy, despite the fact that they were the opinions of an American free to express himself.

About six hundred mayors – political correctness being the god to whom they genuflect – across the country said that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in their hallowed cities. Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston sent a letter urging them to stay away. “I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.” Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco said that since your company doesn’t “share San Francisco’s values” that “I strongly recommend [you] not try to come any closer.” Rahm Emanuel, the compassionate Mayor of Chicago, said “that if you’re going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago’s values.” On the same day, the windy mayor of the Windy City put his arm around Louis Farrakhan, the notorious anti-Semite, welcoming him and his vigilantes for coming to Chicago to help end the violence that has seen a 40% increase in homicides this year. Incidentally, Farrakhan is anti-gay marriage.

Chick-fil-A began operations in 1946 and now has over 1600 stores in 39 states with sales of $4.1 billion. It is family owned and family run, but I guess government doesn’t mind telling them where they can and where they cannot locate their stores, because, of course, the family didn’t build it.

The supercilious disregard by Leftist twits for fundamental individual liberties is breathtaking. They care not for the Law or the Constitution. They are intolerant of anything or anybody who differs in opinions from the ones they express. This is not an isolated case. For years, Ivy League colleges refused to allow the military to recruit on their campuses and denied ROTC programs the right to set up shop. Right-wing speakers have been denied access to elite campuses. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowds had a total disregard for the rights of people living in the neighborhoods they occupied. Left-wing media and politicians regularly gave them a pass.

For once, New York’s Mayor Michael “Nanny” Bloomberg was correct on a social issue. Mr. Bloomberg who has probably done as much damage to the concept of individual liberties as anyone around (last week he announced plans to penalize those who choose to bottle-feed their babies), so it was good to hear him criticize those who would harm a private business because of the beliefs of its CEO. “It isn’t the right thing to do and it isn’t what America stands for.” Amen, Mr. Mayor. It’s too bad you don’t feel the same way about bottle-feeding babies or 20oz sugary sodas.

People are getting fed up with government that condones this type of criminal behavior when it is done in the name of “political correctness.” A consequence (surely unintended) of these feckless Mayors’ attempts to bully a business into submission was that the fast food chain had its biggest day ever on Wednesday. Mike Huckabee went on Facebook encouraging a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day for Wednesday August 1. More than 20 million viewed his Facebook page to learn of his suggestions. Hundreds of thousands flocked to Chick-fil-A outlets. The line at the Burlington Mall outside of Boston had an hour’s wait. Drive-thru windows were jammed. But, despite the crowds, there were no reported instances of foul tempers and misbehavior. Even Thursday’s New York Times had an article on the crowds amassing in lines waiting their turn for a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Of course they never mentioned Constitutional questions raised by so many patronizing and lawless Mayors around the Country. They did, of course, mention a BrandIndex survey which suggested that the “company’s positive perception among consumers has fallen sharply…”

In response to the overwhelming turnout on Wednesday, gay activists organized a counter demonstration on Friday – a National Same-Sex Kiss Day. With their noted, impeccable good taste, the organizers ordered a “kiss-in”, with gays descending on Chick-fil-A outlets, lips puckered and ready for love. On his regular Fox News program, Governor Huckabee indicated his support for the rights of those to protest: “If they believe that this will help their cause – to put people of the same sex kissing each other in front of families – if they believe that will encourage people to be more sympathetic, then more power to them.”

Leftist organizers have never gotten over their days of demonstrating for Civil Rights, and the antiwar protests over the Vietnam era. While I believed strongly in the Civil Rights movement, but was skeptical of the anti- war demonstrations, there was a refreshing spontaneity about both. Since that period, the Left has been searching for causes. Contrivance has replaced spontaneity. The Occupy Wall Street movement was an example. A few protestors showed up in Zuccotti Park. The New York Times swooned, as did much of main stream media, giving them far more coverage than their numbers deserved. The same thing happened Friday. The Los Angeles Times reported that “the event appeared to draw far fewer people than an event earlier this week in support of the chicken chain.”

It has been protests on the right that have been spontaneous, the Tea Party being by far the most significant and important development, a fact greatly underreported by mainstream media.

The bigger message is that, instinctively, people understand that the country is on a dangerous track, both financially and culturally. Politicians in Washington and state capitals have been reckless with our money, promising what can never be delivered. At the same time, the concept of a universal morality has been replaced with one of relativism – that there are no absolute moral truths, only subjective ones. Last week, we saw an example of the Left’s refusal to admit the primacy of culture in economic development when mainstream media condemned Mitt Romney for making such references when he was in Israel and speaking of the differences in terms of economic development between the Palestinians and Israelis. Such attitudes have damaged the rules of civility that bound us as a society of diverse human beings, a society that replaced the social strata of countries from which we all emigrated. 

We may disagree on many issues, but when we lose a sense of tolerance, we become uncivilized in our behavior. The issue is much larger than gay rights. The L.A. Times quoted the Reverend Sarah Halverson of Fairview Community Church who said she respects Cathy’s right to speak, but couldn’t help herself, so called his comments “hate” speech. Her words are endemic with what’s wrong with the Left – intolerant illiberalism in the name of fairness and political correctness.